Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Why I exercise during pregnancy

During pregnancy, our body is ever changing. 
Some days we are full of energy, our skin is glowing, and we are high on this little life growing inside of us. Other days we are exhausted, eat everything in sight and never satisfied, and cannot imagine that we need to "last" another however-many-months in this condition. 
Butt Blasters
Photo by Roughley Originals Photography 
Despite the few rough days I have experienced during my pregnancies, I absolutely love the journey! I love learning of others experiences and their interpretations of it all. I love that our bodies grow these little humans and shift whatever needed in our existing state to do so to the best of it's ability. I love that each pregnancy can be so different for some and for others, two pregnancies are nearly identical. The one thing I love most about pregnancy is embracing my changing body and learning to work with these changes through exercise. 

My fitness goals started their shift the week we found out we were pregnant. I now focus my workouts on strengthening muscles that will assist me is caring for a toddler and a newborn and on an easier postpartum recovery. I work my lower body so that my legs will be ready as I gain weight over the coming months. I continue to challenge my cardiovascular system to hope for healthy weight gain and to decrease my likelihood of gestation diabetes or hypertension. I perform toning exercises for my upper body to ensure my postural muscles are ready for hours of cuddling and nursing and that my arms are ready for rocking my sweet little and carrying a bucket seat. I concentrate on breath and core engagement to ensure my transverse abdominis isn't forgotten through any stage of pregnancy or birth and so that it is ready to begin it's reconstruction after baby arrives. Pelvic floor work, including contraction and relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles is critical as the weight of our uterus and all it's contents (baby, amniotic fluid, placenta, etc!) pull down on this "hammock" of muscles with gravity. I choose to stay active while pregnant because it makes me feel strong and healthy. 

Reverse Plank

Moving my body makes me feel beautiful on days where I have difficulty connecting with myself because of all the physical changes occurring. It helps me enjoy the process and find appreciation for it all over again!

It is truly amazing how even 10 minutes a day of focussed, safe, effective exercise can increase our heart rate, help us connect with little life inside of us, and make us feel like ourselves again! 

Ball Chest Press
Photo by Roughley Originals Photography
A list of my favourite prenatal-approved workouts are here and a few more have been added here, here, and here! I recommend always having approval from your healthcare provider before exercising during your pregnancy and you should stop if anything is painful, doesn't feel "right" (listen to your body!), you experience any bleeding or leaking from the vagina, become dizzy or faint, and feel like you are overheating. 

Make sure that you fuel your body with fresh and delicious food before and after your workout and that you are drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water everyday!


Enjoy the journey!!

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